I made this three dimensional model of the Periodic Table of elements for a friend who has just started to study chemistry. The model is called the Adomah Periodic Table. It was first derived by Valery Tsimmerman who modified a periodic table layout devised by Charles Janet. The details can be found at this location and more recently, here

I think the arrangement of elements in the standard, textbook, periodic table confusing and is not intuitive. I thought this 'Adomah' layout was better. There are still some compromises in this arrangement of elements - namely the location of Hydrogen and Helium but at least the Lanthanides and Actinides are not some branched-off after-thought stuffed after Barium and Radium - somehow implying that they are all crunched up, minor elements which dont fit with all the 'real' elements.

I haven't studied chemistry for many years so for more discussions on this topic read the blurb here

I like how the elements fit into the tetrahedral shape. In my reconstruction of the model I carefully reproduced the shape. What I do find fascinating is that the really heavy elements - many of which are just postulations currently - occupy the right-most column of the second (p) and first (s) layers. I have left spaces for these elements. When you do some quick counting the last element would be element 120 in shell (s), period 8. What does this mean? There is no space in the tetrahedron for any more elements. Does this mean that it will be impossible to create element 121 even for the briefest of femtoseconds? We know that most of the elements above 110 (discovered so far) exist for very short times but those times are finite - the elements have been verified to exist for those nano/pico seconds. So what of element 121? Will it ever exist for even the briefest of time? And if so where will we place it in the the Adomah PT model? Is it possible that this model is too perfect and therefore restrictive?

I find it fascinating, also, that the basic building blocks of all the elements are all the same - protons, neutrons and electrons - simply the number of protons (and associated electrons) make for such a profound difference between elements. Take Oxygen - a life-giving necessity if ever there was one and then, one proton more is Fluorine - a highly reactive element that, as a gas, would kill quickly.

This model I made has caused great interest with the instructors at my friend's school. Maybe it will serve as a good starting point for discussions.

Some bigger copies of the same pictures

Here is a video from Nottingham University (UK)
Element 11